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Depression & Your Diet Print

Depression is a lasting feeling of sadness and despair. One loses interest in matters which previously gave one pleasure. One can experience insomnia, reduced appetite, lack of energy and many other negative effects. Up to 25% of females and 12% of males experience depression at some point in their lives. However, according to the American Psychiatric Association about 90% of sufferers can be treated. A healthy diet and lifestyle assists the healing process.

Exercise
Exercise supports a healthy body and healthy mind. Studies demonstrate the positive effect of exercise on mood in general and depression management. Group jogging has been shown to effectively improve mood. Apart from the physiological benefits of exercise and its effects in improving brain chemistry, the study highlighted the importance of positive group interaction and spending time outdoors. Both factors are important in depression management. Sunlight also plays an integral part in the healing process.

Diet & Supplementation
These are essential in depression management. Certain foods contain tryptophan, an amino acid which produces serotonin which helps a person relax and feel good. Poultry, chickpeas, nuts and sunflower seeds are rich in tryptophan. Research found that fish consumption lowers depression. Salmon oil is highly beneficial.

B-complex vitamins are needed for the functioning and development of the nervous system. Consume chicken, fish, nuts, legumes, whole grain cereals, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables and brewer?s yeast for absorption of these vitamins.

Herbal Help

Tonics strengthen the whole system while nervines are herbs which work specifically on the nervous system.
  • St John?s Wort a well known mood booster and effectively treats mild depression.
  • Chamomile tea has relaxing properties and is therefore used in cases of anxiety and insomnia.
  • Valerian is a relaxing herb with strong sedative properties.
Summary
  • Eliminate sugar, refined carbohydrates and junk food.
  • Reduce tea, coffee, chocolate, cola drinks and caffeine containing medications.
  • Supplement with herbal medication.
  • Get adequate sleep.

 
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